The Peace, or Ban the Bomb, symbol was originally designed in Britain by Gerald Holtom (a WW2 conscientious objector) during the month of February 1958 for the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War (DAC) march on the Atomic Weapons Research Institute at Aldermaston.
The symbol was almost instantly adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) as its badge. The Peace sign is created by merging the semaphore signals for the letters “N” and “D,” for Nuclear Disarmament. Its use rapidly spread to America where it became a “protest symbol” for the 1960’s counter culture the Hippies. The Peace Symbol became so widespread during the American Vietnam War (1964 -1975) that detractors fought back by calling it the “Footprint of the American Chicken”. Some went further and assigned it occultist properties such as the “Broken Cross” and “Nero’s Cross”.
Its designer repeatedly denied these allegations which in retrospect have all the hallmarks of a smear campaign. At the height of the Cold War the symbol was seen to be associated with subversive Communism.